The Pick: eXistenZ

This week on The Pick, we’re going back to the ’90s (again) and back to David Cronenberg (again) by taking a look at 1999’s eXistenZ (which is not pronounced how you’d think). Yet, despite the familiarity inherent in this episode’s Pick, it’s far from a run-of-the-mill movie, even if it does feel fairly par for the course in Cronenberg’s bizarro filmography. There’s lots of talk about game pods and bioports as well as Cronenberg’s liberal interpretation of what video games are. We even do a little bit of a look at where video games were at when this movie was released, while Sean offers one of the more unusual Little Picks. Continue reading

The Pick: Cabin Boy

We are, once again, back. We’re also back on our bullshit reviewing a movie with a cult following and a strange cultural footprint that we’ve been meaning to get to the bottom of. In honor of its 30th anniversary, we’re taking a look at Cabin Boy, the first and only big-screen collaboration between Chris Elliott and fellow Late Night co-conspirator Adam Resnick. We dive into the movie’s abysmal reception when it was released and why it has been reassessed by comedy nerds over the years. Also, we couldn’t let the release of Dune: Part 2 go by without talking about it, so we forgo our little picks for an in-depth discussion of the year’s first big blockbuster.

The Pick: The Preacher’s Wife

Every time an underrated Christmas movie is acknowledged, an angel gets its wings. Or at least, that’s what we’d like to think after talking about The Preacher’s Wife, a Christmas movie that we enjoyed quite a bit despite it not being one of the big holiday movies everybody watches this time of year. We delve a little bit into why that is, while also lauding the movie’s very ’90s charms. Also, we really stretch out the Little Picks by getting sidetracked by lengthy conversations about Siskel & Ebert and the Pink Floyd discography. It’s the last The Pick of the year, so better savor it like a comfy Christmas morning! Continue reading

The Pick: Cat People

As we make our way through Shocktober, this week we take a look at a horror movie of sorts (or perhaps an “erotic fantasy”) with the 1982 remake of Cat People. We discuss how effectively the film expands on its horror-noir inspiration and whether director Paul Schrader was the best person to bring this source material to the screen. But mostly we rag on John Heard and how ill-equipped is to be the leading man in a film that needed someone a little more sexy and charming (our apologies to the memory of Mr. Heard). Continue reading

The Pick: Blue Thunder

We’re rollin’ in with another episode of The Pick, this one aimed at the helicopter-fueled action flick Blue Thunder from 1983. We discuss pretty much every aspect of its modest cultural imprint, including its short-lived TV adaptation, as well as our fondness for its stars, Roy Scheider and John’s good friend Malcolm MacDowell. Weirdly enough, it’s a movie that wasn’t specifically chosen for it being its 40th anniversary this year, but more because it just seemed like the kind of weird semi-forgotten oddity that we were destined to review. Continue reading

The Pick: Mystery Men

After our usual summer break, The Pick is back with another batch of episodes that we kick off with 1999’s Mystery Men. What started as an intended tribute to the late Paul Reubens also ended up being a tribute to Smash Mouth frontman Steve Harwell, who also passed away before we recorded this episode. We get into both Reubens and Smash Mouth’s contributions to Mystery Men, as well as the rest of this very ’90s cast led by Ben Stiller, Hank Azaria, and Janeane Garofalo. Continue reading

The Pick: Mamma Mia!/Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Since this will be our last episode of The Pick for a little while, it’s overstuffed with plenty to keep you satisfied as we set our sights on Criterion Month. Not only do we review both 2008’s Mamma Mia! and its questionable yet miraculous sequel, we also sneak in a mini-review of Fast X, which is somewhere in between a Little Pick and a Big Pick. It’s an episode that serves as an ode to the fact that frivolous entertainment is nonetheless worthy of discussion and that any actor has the right to star in a musical no matter how underwhelming of a singer they are. Continue reading